1. The Stone Age in and around Coventry.
We know that people of the late Neolithic were grinding flour and baking bread at Ryton on Dunsmore when the stones of Stonehenge were being erected because a same-style flint arrowhead to those found at Durrington Walls was discovered on the site.
While perusing my map of Coventry, I noticed an unmarked circle, perhaps a settlement, on land owned by Alton Hall farm, to the northwest of Allesley Village. Explorer Map 221 SP2890 8207.
I also noticed that this circle was in-line with a ring ditch mentioned in the CADAS publication "Stepping into the past: Historical walks in Allesley, Coundon & Keresley."
This booklet mentions several prehistoric find-spots, which seem to form a line with the coming Major Standstill of the moon.
And what early folk might have perceived as a 'notch' at the right-hand end of the above picture. This notch is even more apparent from the south - see picture 4.
Allesley: A miniature version of Dorset's Cranborne Chase?
We have covered the Dorset Cursus elsewhere on this site and understand its attraction to early folks for the way glacial meltwater had sculpted the land into several parallel valleys and flat ridges across which people ran the cursus to give it its alignments on the sun and moon.
While I am not suggesting that the less pronounced valleys and ridges to the west of Allesley village were sculpted by glaciers - although possible - these ridges were equally appealing to early folks, as was the chase.
The above picture was taken from near this settlement and shows the ridge from the City Hill Hotel, seen on the extreme left, to Pickford on the right.
Nettles are a good indicator of settlement; this area is covered in them.
2. Winter solstice on 20th December 2022.
This photograph of the sun was taken off-axis more by accident than deliberate because it was noticed that if it were taken at the junction of the private lane that leads to Alton Hall Farm, the sun would mark the position of the southernmost moonset come Xmas 2022.
If this picture had been taken on-axis - an impossible task with so many obstructions - the sun would have set midway between the electricity pylons.
3. A map of Allesley CP. Text to follow
4. A chance meeting with a rambler told me that archaeologists have recently excavated this foreground in advance of a housing estate. Since then, archaeologists have been back to strip what looks like most of it! I have no idea what archaeologists have or have not found other than a few Roman artifacts. So work for another day! I know that the northernmost moon will be seen to set in late 2024 to the right of the most distant pylon and where the ridge begins to fall off in height.
The busy A45 is just beyond the tree line. Some lorries parked in a layby can be seen through the trees.
Note the pylon on the left, it is not on the moonset line, but that is where the following picture was taken from.
5. The previous picture failed to clarify that it was taken from the top of another ridge that would appeal to early folks. The above image should put things right. X marks the spot where the previous picture was taken and from where archaeologists have been digging.
The grass line, seen passing through the middle of the picture, marks the path made by the Pickford brook as it makes its way to join the River Sherbourne. And by now, for Xmas 2022, this brook will be traveling underground through concrete pipes.
Furthermore, the archaeological investigations in the area marked by the X, and everything in front of it, have been eradicated in preparation for a housing estate. Please do not ask me what I think of the idea.
Although it's doubtful I shall ever see the lorry driver again; thanks are extended to him for allowing me to climb into his cab to get this picture.
6. Having initially entered the fields from Eastern Green as directed in the CADAS booklet, we make our way back to the entrance and photograph a third ridge that is Eastern Green. The trees mark the line of another branch of Pickford Brook.
Somewhere in this field, a ring ditch was discovered by aerial photography and was proved prehistoric by the artifacts found by C.H.E.P. (Coventry Historic Environment Project) while field-walking.
7. Inspired by the CADAS booklet "Stepping Into The Past," which tells of Mesolithic, Neolithic, and Bronze Age settlements to the northwest of Coventry - from Keresley to Eastern green. Here we describe a line that points to where the southernmost moon will set in late 2024.
We start by parking alongside the sharp bend in Fivefield Road, at point six, Walk 4 of the CADAS booklet.
Enter the field via the gate and climb the hill almost up to Bensons Wood.
8. Bunson's Wood. Bounded by banks and ditches, inside and out, this wood is crying out for further investigation. Particularly a LIDAR scan.
9. This picture was taken from the footpath leading up to Bunsons Wood and from where the previous photo was taken.
This photo looks through a gap in the hedge towards the Iron Age Hillfort built on top of Corley rocks. This picture should help you know where we are. More importantly, this view looks over Hounds Hill to where many more prehistoric flint tools have been found and which marks the start of the moon alignment.
We can now turn around and find our way back down to the gate... but not quite.
10. Aerial photography from Google Earth suggests this field contains a pair of double ring-ditches.
Queens College, Oxford acquired the land where these ring ditches lie sometime around 1510 to 1529, but why Queens College should want to own it is anyone's guess.
The CADAS booklet says that this land is private property and suggests we do not trespass.
I have drawn a white line to mark the southernmost setting moon-line, coming down from Hounds Hill, where Mesolithic flint was found.
Seen from Hounds Hill, the southernmost moon would set beneath Tamworth Road. Then from the Tamworth Road, and always having to assume some tree clearance, early folks could have watched the moon as she set beneath the Pickford ridge by viewing it over the Sherborne valley.
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